Aug 28

Friday Post: Cool Stuff for Maker Faire Orlando

Hey All,

First week of the semester is done!  Can’t say everything went off without a hitch.  Ran into a nasty timezone issue between servers that I just couldn’t figure out.  One image, two servers cloned from that image.  When pulling the info from Python one reported UTC, the other Eastern.  Tried a bunch of different ways to force Eastern, but eventually used this:

from datetime import datetime
from pytz import timezone
fmt = "%m/%d/%Y %I:%M:%S"
# Current time in UTC
now_utc = datetime.now(timezone('UTC'))
print now_utc.strftime(fmt)
# Convert to US/Eastern time zone
now_eastern = now_utc.astimezone(timezone('US/Eastern'))
print now_eastern.strftime(fmt)

So yeah, that was a fun couple days trying to make sure our data wasn’t 4 hours off 🙂  Also, we might be getting hit by a Tropical Storm / Hurricane on Monday.  Yay.

Onto the cool stuff!  Maker Faire Orlando!

I am working on two projects for Maker Faire.  The first is with Factur and FamiLAB.  We are making the worlds LARGEST arcade cabinet!  It is so awesome.  I can’t wait for the electronics to come in so I can help wire it up.  I’ll be posting more details as we get closer to the Faire!

facturworldsbiggest facturforscale

The top panel was recently added on, but I couldn’t get a good picture of it because it is about an inch from touching the ceiling of the warehouse, and I just couldn’t get a good angle on it.  This thing is massive!  It’s a beast!

My personal project is a new modular arcade cabinet.

This is a 3 piece cabinet that breaks down into sections for easy movement, transporation, and customization.  My main requirement was that it had to fit in my PT Cruiser, everything from there was negotiable.  This is what it looks like so far:

2015-08-26 copy1/3 Model.  Cat for Scale.

IMG_5534 IMG_5533 IMG_5516 IMG_5514 IMG_5511Team working the ShopBot CNC Machine.

Also!

3D Printed a Bulbasaur using glow in the dark filament!

IMG_5543

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

 

 

Aug 01

Friday Post: Forgetting to set DNS

Hey All,

So for the past month I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out the issue where PiPlay says Could not check for updates.  I KNEW it was because of my server move but I couldn’t figure it out.  I couldn’t reproduce it on my end.  I really thought that it was because the requests module coudln’t do redirects.  Tonight I was dealing with a PiPlay issue with a cool teacher in Canada who is making games with her students, and we were troubleshooting a bad wifi card.  We got everything working, and then the can’t connect to piplay server message came up, and I was going to admit defeat, but I then saw it was going to WWW.pimame.org.  I had set up www on piplay.org, but I had never setup the WWW redirect on the old domain.  I feel dumb.  One DNS change and a 5 minute propagation and everything is working now.

On a side note, I designed this warp pipe planter in OpenSCAD, and printed it out today.  I drove out to a local nursery and picked up some venus fly traps, and voila!  One Super Mario Bros. “Piranha Plant” in my own home 😀

11807716_10104381579905592_3981371305566672176_oYou can download the STL file at thingiverse, and it will be up on my Etsy as well.

 

Jul 10

Friday Post: Make Magazine!

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

This week just flew by, but projects are going really well, and I am hoping to have a cool announcement in the next week or so.  In the meantime…

PiPlay was featured in Make Magazine!!!!!!!

I’m seriously fanboying over here.  To have my project featured in Make is like having a researcher’s paper featured in Science or Nature magazine.  I’m just blown away.

The article is about making a home arcade system and controlling the games with an Arduino Esplora.

M45_Cover_LowRez_Sq_1024x1024

 

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

Jun 26

Friday Post: Working Working Working

Hey All,

I feel like I have a ton on my plate and nothing to show….yet.  Working on PiPlay, our new remote controller system, an arcade game for Orlando IX, and an arcade machine for Maker Faire Orlando.  It’s going to be a rough couple of months 🙂

This weekend is Community Effort Orlando, an annual fighting game tournament held near the attractions.  I’ve never been to CEO, but I’m really looking forward to it.  Street Fighter V is going to be playable, as well as Tekken 7.  I’m also going to be able to play a lot of arcade games 😀

Have a good weekend!

-Shea

May 29

Friday Post: BeagleBone Splatoon

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

Today Nintendo released a whole bunch of new Amiibos that were highly sought after.  I was in line at WalMart at midnight and had a lot of fun.  Met a bunch of cool people in line.  We were laughing and comparing game collections, and then the electronics guy comes out and tell us there are 6 Amiibo.  Not 6 of the 9 characters.  Just 6 Amiibo total.  3 Pac-Man and 3 Charizard.  I was 7th in line.  We could only laugh at the ridiculousness.  On the plus side, I picked up Splatoon! It is just as amazing as the demo!  If you have a Wii U and like FPS / 3PS this is a must.

The only Amiibo I was after was the Silver Mario.  I mean, come on, Silverman, Silver Mario.  It was a must buy.  There was no line at my GameStop so I was able to get one without a problem, it was just that was all they had.  This whole product line is crazy.  People going crazy over little figures.  Gotta catch em all!

In other news,  I picked up a Beagle Bone Black and I am working on testing PiPlay on that.  Initial tests look good.  It runs Ubuntu, and has some quirks, but I was able to get Mednafen, CaveStory, and DGen working without issue.

Look for more updates regarding that soon!

Have a good weekend all.

-Shea

May 22

Friday Post: Happy 90th Birthday Grandma!

Hey All,

First off, Happy 90th Birthday to my Grandma B!!  Love ya!

It’s been a hectic few weeks.  The migration has gone pretty well.  I have some more stuff to move over, but I’m happy with it.  The server is so powerful.

Mark and I are going to be bringing up a new service for gamebox art soon to help with PiPlay.  I have also been hard at work on some electronics stuff, and Mark has been doing some cool coding.

I’m really looking forward to the next month.  I have been pulled in a lot of directions, took a few breaks, but I think I’m finding the right thing to move forward with.

I can’t wait for the next part of this ride.

Have a good weekend everyone!

-Shea

Apr 17

Friday Post: PyCon 2015!

Hey All,

PyCon 2015 is over.  It was an amazing time in Montreal.  My coworker and I presented ProctorHub, the homegrown proctoring solution that we created for our university.

We met a lot of fellow educators, tons of fellow pythonistas, and learned a ton!

A PiPlay kit was also auctioned off during the PyLadies auction, where it brought in $200!

All of the talks are up on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgxzjK6GuOHVKR_08TT4hJQ

I’ve also picked up two of these nrf24l01+ Transceivers.

11038420_10104069360076632_3430831120835634129_o

I have a neat project I’m working on involving a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino.  Hopefully I’ll have the prototype to show next week 😀

Have a good weekend!

Apr 03

Friday Post: PyCon 2015, also Make!

Hey All,

So next week I will be in Montreal for the annual Python Software Foundation conference: PyCon.  My coworker and I will be presenting a project we developed at UCF that uses Django, AWS, and a bunch of other tools that allow us to help 60,000 students learn in a better environment.

Next Friday’s post will probably be late, depending on what the internet connection is like up there.

Also, Make featured PiPlay in their latest video!

Have a good weekend everyone!

-Shea

Mar 27

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 9 Released!

Happy Friday Everyone!

 

I am proud to present the very latest version of PiPlay!  PiPlay 0.8 Beta 9!  I feel like this is the best release yet!

While this was mostly a bug fix and compatibility update, we do have one awesome new features implemented.  When you upload, drag and drop, ftp, or somehow copy a game file to the roms folder, our file watcher will pick that up, and automatically update the PiPlay Menu.  No more running the Rom Scraper, or getting popups about unscraped files.

Update now via the PiPlay Menu, or download the latest image!

 Changelog
  • Numerous bug fixes!
  • Updated to latest Raspbian
  • SQLite Backend
  • Webserver now a background process via supervisor
  • File Watcher automatically scans for game files and updates the PiPLAY menu
  • Raspberry Pi 2 comparability
  • Controller config updated
  • Moved more repos to GitHub
  • Master games list updated
  • Toggle menu item visibility (in beta mode still)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Mar 22

Very Late Friday Post: 2 Years!

Hey All,

Sorry for the very late post this week.  Trying to figure out why I’m having such connectivity issues to my web host.  Replaced the router.  Still happens.  Modem is fine.  It’s not my host.  But my ISP can’t see it as being down since it comes up 5 minutes later.  I can VPN into work and access my host from there.  So weird.

Anyways,

Tomorrow marks my 2nd Wedding Anniversary.  It feels like it’s been a day and a half 🙂 K, I love you.  Thank you for putting up with me.

PiPlay

0.8 Beta 9 is coming along.  It should be released in a day or so.  This is the best version yet, and I’m so sorry for the Beta 8 release.  Trying to get everything working on both the Pi and Pi2 has been a challenge.  But I think this version will be great.  We have upgraded to the latest Raspbian image, moved more emulators into GitHub / Git and now can update most of PiPlay with a Git Update.  Mark has created an awesome file watching script which automatically updates the frontend when a new file has been uploaded.  No more running the scraper, it all happens in the background.

Mario Party 10

Mario Party 10 came out this week.  I had a chance to play it with a group, and, well, it feels like Mario Party Lite.  The game is gorgeous, the levels are beautiful, but there are only three game modes.  Amiibo Party, Bowser Party, and “Mario Party” which isn’t like previous games.  Everyone works together to get to the end in a vehicle, basically pooling dice rolls.  The classic game has been shortened and moved to Amiibo Party.  It feels like a lot of content is missing.  The load times are also really long.  I really wanted to love this game, but I feel like its a demo.  I’m hoping patches and some free DLC fix that.

SmartiPi

I backed the SmartiPi kickstarter a short while ago, and received my case the other day.  I think this is one of the best designed cases out there.  It easily wraps around the whole Pi, and has LEGO compatible pegs on the case.

IMG_4913

 

Have a great week(end)!

-Shea